SHAKESPEARE Week will be celebrated online this year.
The annual programme, which aims to inspire school children with the playwright’s works and language, is organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) and runs from March 15 to 21.
Joining the virtual celebrations are some of the country’s best-loved children’s authors, artists and celebrities, including CBeebies presenter Ben Cajee and CBBC’s Nikki Lilly, providing a wealth of activities and workshops to bring Shakespeare to life.
This year’s ‘wellbeing’ theme is designed to offer teachers, home educators and parents with resources and activities to inspire children and support their emotional wellbeing.
SBT education officer Sally Gray said: “There’s no denying that the pandemic and associated restrictions over the last 10 months have impacted on children’s learning, attainment and their wellbeing, which is why this year’s theme is all the more important. Although Shakespeare was writing over 400 years ago his ability to explore human emotions and the creative language he used to describe the human spirit remains relevant today. His words provide a wonderful vehicle for children to discuss human attributes such as resilience and self-esteem and to explore their own characteristics, feelings and identities.
“In the seven years that Shakespeare Week has been running we’ve demonstrated that making Shakespeare fun and accessible for children can have a positive impact in the development of their imagination, creativity and social skills. We hope that everyone will enjoy exploring this year’s theme and it will spark a new interest in Shakespeare.”
Highlights include daily broadcasts hosted by celebrity guests including Shakespeare Storytime with poet Ian McMillan, mindful meditations with children’s author Marcia Williams, draw-along with Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown and Tudor cookery with Bake Off winner David Atherton.
Children aged four to 11 can also take part in a competition to explore their identities and make a creative response to the famous Hamlet quote – ‘This above all, to thine own self be true’. It could be a piece of creative writing, poem, poster, artwork, song or video. Supporting the competition are CBeebies presenter Ben Cajee, and teen vlogger and CBBC presenter, Nikki Lilly, who have prepared their own responses for inspiration.
Other activities include the Boils, Plague Sores and Embossed Carbunkles health and medicine exhibition, and an online notebook of wellbeing activities to complete.
Visit www.shakespeareweek.org.uk for more details.